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City of Lodi, school district settle disability case for $45,000

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Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:48 am, Wed Sep 21, 2011.

A bitter lawsuit between a disabled Tokay High School graduate, the city and its school district has finally come to an end.

Jeremy Hixson, 20, who sued the city of Lodi and the Lodi Unified School District for not supplying reasonable arrangements during his 2009 graduation ceremony at the Grape Bowl, agreed to a $45,000 settlement on Monday. The payment will be paid in equal portions by the city and school district.

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Welcome to the discussion.

9 comments:

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:52 am on Thu, Dec 15, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Jackson stated...Darrell, your rants are so ridiculous.

    I have an opinion and perspective that is different than yours... I appreciate wanting to honor Jack Fiori Sr and John Giannoni Sr., whose name I heard often from my father who admired him.

    I however am thinking from an experience resulting from Jeremy Hixson, 20, who sued the city of Lodi and the Lodi Unified School District . Hixson had complained that the Grape Bowl was not easily accessible for someone in his condition and did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    Since Hixson’s lawsuit, Lodi has spent more than $2 million in ADA upgrades on the Grape Bowl.

    For me, I am waiting for the next lawsuit that is just another matter of time. For you to state that my rant is ridiculous is ridiculous. We all have priorities. You think the grape bowl was appropriate... I do not... that does not mean either side is ridiculous. It means we see things differently.

     
  • roy bitz posted at 8:42 pm on Wed, Sep 21, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 503

    Two comments:

    1. Hixon's action saved the grape bowl. Grape bowl. Grapebowl advocates should be grateful to him.

    2.Our former city manager presented Waste Management with an offer--- "donate" one million dollars to the grape bowl---get a twenty year "exclusive" contract to be the city's waste vendor--- and with a guaranteed annual rate increase. Waste Management accepted. Enjoy your times at the grape bowl folks.


     
  • Robert Chapman posted at 5:29 pm on Wed, Sep 21, 2011.

    Bob Chapman Posts: 997

    Mr. Baumbach, you stated that a private company could run some government operations. I totally agree. Lee Iacocca once mused that if he owned the Post Office he would be the richest man in the world. The government took over a Nevada house of prostitution because they owed taxes. They couldn't even run that entity to a profit. I have absolute NO doubts that a lot of the "civil service" jobs could be run by corporations, make money & pay taxes.Think of the Post Office, DMV, Fire Dept., Police Department and other departments not running billions of dollars deficit. Privatization has merits.

     
  • jamie shipman posted at 4:26 pm on Wed, Sep 21, 2011.

    jamie shipman Posts: 10

    If he recieves SSDI they will cut him off and possibly his medi-caid too. he will end up with nothing gained. they should make the stadium accesible though.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 1:56 pm on Wed, Sep 21, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    The Grape Bowl wouldn’t be where it is today without him,” Humphrey said.

    How true... and Lodi would have 2 million extra. Maybe the grape bowl should have been closed and the money used by the city to help other businesses in Lodi become ADA compliant... Maybe a private entity would have purchased the land and developed it. Just think, Lodi would have less liability from law suits and more money in its coffer. As Mr Kinderman stated, the City of Lodi has set a precedent where future claims will be encouraged or more likely.
    As far as graduation ceremonies... Laws are too draconian and liability too high. I say by outsource the event to a private concern that handles it all.

     
  • Joe Baxter posted at 12:57 pm on Wed, Sep 21, 2011.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1903

    Suing an establishment to force them to abide by ADA regulations is one thing, making it an opportunity for personal gain is flat wrong. This young man may have a career with Scott Johnson, the other slug that is making a handsome living extorting money from business owners and government entities. This day in age, $45K doesn't go very far, especially after the attorney gets his fat cut.

     
  • Craig Cawelti posted at 12:51 pm on Wed, Sep 21, 2011.

    Craig Cawelti Posts: 36

    Question: What separates this individual with a disability from the numerous other disabled graduates over the years?
    Answer: A selfishness and self pity brought on by constantly being told what a tragic and unfair lot he pulled in life by a society that teaches the younger generation to depend upon others for their existance rather than being self sufficient.
    I remember seeing quite a few graduates over the last thirty plus years, who managed to cross the field at the Grape Bowl with their dignity in tact despite their being in a wheelchair, on crutches etc. The shame of this young man's life is that he bought into the "look at what I CAN'T do" way of thinking rather than "look at what I CAN do despite my circumstances" way of thinking. I don't necessarily blame him for this though. He's young and that's what he was taught. Like I realized as I grew older, there were a lot of mistakes that I made when I was young which I wish I could undo. I hope as he matures, he comes to the same conclusion in his life.
    In the mean time... shame on the City and LUSD for caving in to this act of extortion.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:32 am on Wed, Sep 21, 2011.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2367

    This is one instance where I hope the plaintiff's attorneys get most of the money.

    Because this action could have cost the City hundreds of thousands of dollars, they allowed this guy to extort $45,000.00. To think that this won't open the door to many more nuisance lawsuits is naive. How many more of these cases will bankrupt the City of Lodi? They've set a lousy precedent.

    As someone who suffers from a variety of disabilities as a result of simply growing old, I've never thought about expecting anyone to go out of their way to help me. I play the cards I've been dealt - this is all part of life. There are no guarantees. But Hixson believes he is somehow "special." No he's not. What he is is an opportunist who used his handicaps unfairly to take something to which he is not entitled. Pathetic.

     
  • Richard Turner posted at 3:43 am on Wed, Sep 21, 2011.

    Richard Turner Posts: 80

    what a bunch of bull s. I hope he takes the money and moves !!

     
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